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March 2012 - Optician News Desk

  • A week of news - Vision Expo East

    Organisers of Vision Expo East in New York have reported record number of visitors to the annual event. The figures primarily reflect a buoyant US market, although international attendees also grew. This week's news from the event at the Jacob Javits Center also shows the popularity of British optical brands such as William Morris, Oliver Goldsmith and Tom Davies is on the up. Could it be then, that the much talked about buzz that was expected to follow the Royal Wedding last year is slowly creeping into people's mindsets? The Diamond Jubilee and Olympics certainly won't do any harm in re-affirming the message that Britain is once again great. The question is, as William Morris managing director Robert Morris told Optician during an interview in New York, how long it will last. The answer people in optics need to hear is at least until Optrafair 2013.
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  • A week of news - smoking increases risk of blindness

    New tobacco labelling laws recognise smoking as being detrimental to eye health - see smoking label crackdown . Judging by an RNIB study the move might have most effect on teenagers, who worry more about their eyesight than lung cancer or a stroke (News 09.02.07). The European Commission has adopted a total of 14 new labels altogether, meaning smokers can expect a barrage of scary warnings in the coming years. Having said that, what could be more off-putting than the first 'smoking kills' warning, which sent label makers into a frenzy in the first place? For many nicotine addicts the shock tactics did little to suppress the urge for a cigarette, although others have benefitted from it, together with their own will power or the smoking ban, and given up. Responses to the blindness labels will indicate whether such tactics work when it comes to vision. If they do, perhaps optical firms could highlight dangers such as contact lens non-compliance or exposure to UV more severly themselves.
  • A week of news - mobility scooters and vision

    Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Mobility scooters are high up the news agenda in Optician this week. Guidance has been released urging users to have their eyes examined regularly, with mandatory testing to be explored by the DfT. And so the vision of mobility scooter drivers breezing along at 8mph or less is officially more urgent than that of droves steaming along our motorways morning, noon and night. This conclusion can be drawn from the fact that the latest DfT and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) consultation on eyesight standards for car, motorcycle, bus and lorry drivers remains locked – a year after proposals to make the number plate test easier were made. With so much talk of public health outcomes and reducing the burden on secondary care at the moment it would be a strange move to make regulations less stringent, which will surely result in further avoidable accidents. A status quo is likely when the announcement eventually comes, meaning the increased footfall that compulsory driver eye tests would bring is, unlike the number plate test, somewhere in the distance. On the other hand, it might be worth clearly marking out a new parking bay at the front – for mobility scooters only. Joe Ayling, news editor. Mobility scooter rule changes in fast lane
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